Following a highly-decorated collegiate career that wrapped in early March, Winthrop men’s basketball star Xavier Cooks had one more chance to shine Friday afternoon.
The Aussie standout participated in the Reese’s College All-Star Game in San Antonio’s Alamodome, the same venue in which the Final Four is being contested. Cooks was the only Big South player to be selected for the game, a contest designed to provide an opportunity for collegiate stars to be seen by professional scouts.
The reigning Big South Player of the Year knocked down 3-of- 5 tries from the field, notching six points and hauling in five boards in 19 minutes of play. His East club, coached by Yale’s James Jones, fell, 98- 94.
The NBA Draft is June 21 in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Scorching the net
As if back-to- back Big South Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week awards weren’t enough for senior lacrosse attacker Nicole Beatson, she now has an honor on a national scale. Through games of March 29, Beatson stood atop Division I lacrosse in goals per game, averaging 4.5 scores per contest. Stony Brook’s Kylie Ohlmiller (4.38), Boston College’s Sam Apuzzo (4.33), Navy’s Jenna Collins (4.30) and Julia Glynn of Harvard (4.25) rounded out the top five.
Though Beatson’s streak of 7 points or greater was halted at five games in a 5-point outing in defeating Mercer, 14-9, March 25, she quickly began another in Saturday’s Senior Day tilt against Longwood. Beatson found the goal seven times in a 20-13 victory, moving her side to 9-3 (1-0 Big South).
Success at the nets
Winthrop women’s tennis stars Lauren Proctor and Megan Kauffman had another great week, finding themselves ranked 54th in the Oracle/ITA Division I Women’s National Doubles Rankings. The duo also stood through matches of March 29 as one of just four men’s or women’s doubles pairs – Winthrop’s Gabriel Dias and Josh Ryan among them – to have remained undefeated.
That undefeated string for Proctor and Kauffman extended Saturday to 15-0, though not without effort. The tandem took down Liberty’s Evangeline Crist and Anna Dollar, 7-6. That point would prove crucial, as the Eagles won the match, 4-3.
“Lauren and Megan have developed a great chemistry on the court and are good friends,” said coach Cid Carvalho. “They complement each other as a doubles team. They trust each other; one has to maintain the other calm throughout the match, (and) their communication is excellent and both compete well.”
Proctor and Kauffman have played key leadership roles for the team this season, with the Eagles standing as the lone unbeaten side in Big South play at 7-0. Carvalho is confident in his club as it traverses Big South play and readies for the conference tournament April 16-20 at the Rock Hill Tennis Center.
“The strength of our team is our unity and the love we feel for each other and Winthrop,” Carvalho said. “Everyone is focused on doing their best and helping their teammate in every way they can. That makes us believe if we stay focused on the process, the sky is the limit for our team.”
This past week again proved lucrative for Winthrop student-athletes in earning plaudits from the Big South Conference office. Some Eagle athletes even earned a place in the record books.
Eagle baseball pulled a double play of honors, with infielder/outfielder Grant English snagging the Baseball Player of the Week award after a 12-for- 17 week at the dish the week prior. Pitcher Zach Peek’s complete-game shutout of Longwood helped him pull down the Big South Starting Pitcher of the Week recognition.
The conference also honored senior women’s golfer Ashley Sloup with the league’s Women’s Golfer of the Week prize on Thursday. Sloup recorded her fourth top-ten finish of the year with a tie for eighth at the John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate in Stockbridge, Ga.
Winthrop’s women’s distance medley track team set a school record at the Florida Relays in Gainesville over the weekend. The team of Kelsey Ballou, Karina Grant, Harper Henson and Olivia Paxton achieved the mark with a time of 12:12.13.